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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Review: Stolen Things by R.H. Herron @RachaelHerron @duttonbooks

Stolen Things 
by R.H. Herron 

Thanks to Dutton books for this copy.

Publisher: Dutton
Publish Date: August 20, 2019
Kindle Edition
368 Pages
Genres: Thriller, Mystery

“Mama? Help me.”

Laurie Ahmadi has worked as a 911 police dispatcher in her quiet Northern California town for nearly two decades. She considers the department her family; her husband, Omid, is its first Arab American chief, and their teenaged daughter, Jojo, has grown up with the force. So when Laurie catches a 911 call and, to her horror, it’s Jojo, the whole department springs into action.
Jojo, drugged, disoriented, and in pain, doesn’t remember how she ended up at the home of Kevin Leeds, a pro football player famous for his on-the-field activism and his work with the CapB—“Citizens Against Police Brutality”—movement. She doesn’t know what happened to Kevin’s friend and trainer, whose beaten corpse is also discovered in the house. And she has no idea where her best friend Harper, who was with her earlier in the evening, could be.
But when Jojo begins to dive into Harper’s social media to look for clues to her whereabouts, Jojo uncovers a shocking secret that turns everything she knew about Harper—and the police department—on its head. With everything they thought they could rely on in question, Laurie and Jojo begin to realize that they can't trust anyone to find Harper except themselves . . . and time is running out.

My Review:

This story starts strong and never lets up on the pacing.  I felt like something new and WTF was happening at every turn. But it wasn't overly done and felt eerily real.  There's no one in this story without any guilt - well maybe except for a couple of characters... but like with humans in real life, we all have faults. There's an outstanding feeling of realness here - the family bonds.. how you think you really know someone and then you're forced to see a side you never knew was there.  Then to have to reconcile all of that and decide how you feel after.

Teenagers think they're so grown.  Parents think they're still kids.  Really, they're in between.  The protectiveness of parents towards their children.  ALL the things behind the scenes you never see and are shocked to find out.  I just really liked how the author put all these things together.

At first I thought this was going to just be your typical cop family with a kid who got the bad end of the stick and let's see how the mystery unfolds.  I got a LOT more than I was expecting.  Unfortunately with the political climate these days and with the (now more public) displays of police brutality and racial tensions that are rising, we see this across the board via live streaming, the news, via T.V. shows, movies, books... and this novel also touches greatly on police corruption.  So at times, this definitely felt heavy.  Almost reminds me of one of the latest episodes of 9-1-1 (one of my favorite shows) and for good reason - this is loosely based on the author's experience as a 9-1-1 dispatcher and it shows.  This is the reason you read author's notes, everyone.  Sometimes it can make you see the book in a different light then you did when you were actually reading it.


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